At the height of the wildfires in Madeira last week, the assurance that people who had lost their homes would be exempt from paying rates sounded ridiculous. Of course people who lost their homes should be spared paying IMI, people thought. But the reality is that Funchal Câmara estimates it could be down almost quarter of a million euros as a result.
As many as 280 families are involved, and a total of 300 properties that were either completely levelled or partially destroyed.
The decision to waive IMI for 2016 and 2017 is just another headache which has caused Madeira’s leaders to revise the island’s damages upwards.
Instead of the €55 million calculated earlier this week, they are now suggesting the figure could be more like €61 million.
“All the efforts are small to resolve this problem,” mayor Paulo Cafôfo has explained.
His council is due to meet with the regional government and Portugal’s own government later next week to “channel money from EU community programmes” into Madeira’s reconstruction efforts.